Jun. 19th, 1948
Houston, Texas, USA
Phylicia Rashad's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Born to dentist, Andrew Arthur Allen, and poet, Vivian Ayers, in Harris County, TX. As a child, Phylicia, her older brother Andrew (called Tex) and younger sister, 'Debbie Allen', lived in Mexico to escape US racism. She also has another brother, Hugh Allen (a real estate banker in North Carolina).
Their mother, Vivian Ayers, decided to live there to give the Allen children a brief experience of not having to endure the chronic racism and segregation that was typical of Texas during the 1950s. From this, Phylicia and Debbie are fluent in Spanish.
Phylicia graduated from Howard University and later taught drama there.
With younger sister, 'Debbie Allen', she has production company D.A.D. which stood for Doctor Allen's Daughters. Her Pulitzer-nominated poet mother, Vivian, is the artistic and free spirit that has influenced and encouraged the remarkable creativity that so marks Allen as a performer.
- Became the first African-American actress to win the Best Actress (Play) Tony Award for her 2004 performance as Lena Younger in a revival of 'Lorraine Hansberry' (qv)'s "A Raisin in the Sun". Several Black women have won in the Best Actress (Musical) category, including the late 'Virginia Capers' (qv), who won in 1973 for her portrayal of Lena in the musical adaptation of Hansberry's play called "Raisin."
- Her ex-husband, 'Victor Willis (I)' (qv), was a lead singer for 'The Village People' (qv). The two divorced because of Willis' cocaine drug addiction. Sister-in-law of 'Norman Nixon' (qv).
- Shares a birthday with comic-strip feline "Garfield" who made his newspaper premiere on June 19, 1978, making Phylica Rashad exactly 30 years older than Garfield.
- Appears in the video pre-show of the "Dinosaur" ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.
- Sits on the Board of Directors of Atlanta, GA's Alliance Theatre Company, the largest regional theatre in the Southeastern United States.
- In 1972, her mom Vivian's work, "Workshops in Open Fields," was hailed and recommended to the nation as a "prototype of grass roots programming" by the director of NEA. Vivian established the Adept New American Museum--a museum for art and history of the American Southwest; which features "Juneteenth" Black Cowboys, American Indian Sand Painting, seminars on the Emancipation Proclamation and Mayan studies-- in Mt Vernon NY. She is known as a leader in the arts community in New York area.
- Her mother Dr Vivian Elizabeth Ayers attended Brainerd Institute, Barber Scotia College and Bennett College. Vivian was the first poet in the state of Texas to receive the Pulitzer Prize Award nomination in 1952. Vivian was often called the "Poet Laureate of Texas." In the late 50's, her poetry, "Hawk," attracted the attention of NASA and for twenty years was the only poetry celebrated by NASA. She worked as an apprentice librarian at the Fondren Library of Rice University and was accorded faculty status in 1965, becoming the first African American to be so qualified. During her years at Rice, she organized and published The Adept Quarterly, an important contribution to the small publications movement of the time.
- Children: Son Billy (born in 1973 - Father: William Lancelot Bowles Jr.), Daughter Condola Phylea (born December 11, 1986 - Father: 'Ahmad Rashad' (qv)), 3 stepchildren (Ahmad's children): daughter Keva (born in 1970), daughter Maiysha (born in 1974) and son Ahmad Jr. (born in 1978).